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Lonely Planet Japan (Country Travel Guide) Paperback – November 1, 2009

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Paperback, November 1, 2009
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Product Details

  • Series: Country Travel Guide
  • Paperback: 872 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 11 edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741790425
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741790429
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 4.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,205,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Lonely Planet's Japan is thorough, precise, and consummately useful." -- Conde Nast Traveler, October 2005 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Who We Are
At Lonely Planet, we see our job as inspiring and enabling travellers to connect with the world for their own benefit and for the benefit of the world at large.

What We Do
* We offer travellers the world's richest travel advice, informed by the collective wisdom of over 350 Lonely Planet authors living in 37 countries and fluent in 70 languages.
* We are relentless in finding the special, the unique and the different for travellers wherever they are.
* When we update our guidebooks, we check every listing, in person, every time.
* We always offer the trusted filter for those who are curious, open minded and independent.
* We challenge our growing community of travellers; leading debate and discussion about travel and the world.
* We tell it like it is without fear or favor in service of the travellers; not clouded by any other motive.

What We Believe
We believe that travel leads to a deeper cultural understanding and compassion and therefore a better world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I generally like the Lonely Planet Guides and have used them in many countries.
I spent the majority of my time asking locals how to get to a location because the Lonely Planet guide did not provide a map or even directions for that matter.
Courtney Russell
NO INDEX, just a short table of contents at the beginning of the book and each chapter.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A. C. Johnson on April 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend checking out the Amazon reviews written about the previous edition of this guidebook. Most of the negative reviews still apply to this version, which I recently used on a 3 week trip in Japan. While the book did manage to help me find many of Japan's main sights, that is hardly a major accomplishment for a book like this. I expected it to provide me some in-depth "off the beaten path" knowledge about the places I was visiting, and on this mark it fails.

The book places a heavy emphasis on listing Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines as sights. However, the book only provides a one page, very uninformative description of what Buddhism and Shinto are. The only way I eventually learned enough about these religions in order to better appreciate the shrines and temples the book sent me to, was to go to an Internet cafe and read some Wikipedia articles about the subject. All it would have taken was a well researched 1 page essay on the subject. The fact that Lonely Planet was unable to even provide that minimal content speaks volumes about the failings of this book.

The book is even more useless when it comes to providing insight into modern Japan. Pachinko parlors, for example, are so ubiquitous that they are obviously a major part of Japan's culture. However, the book doesn't spend even one sentence talking about the activity.

Such omissions are quite a big deal for this country, for even at the biggest temples and shrines, English language descriptions are generally very unclear. In many cases, the guidebook was the only source of English information I had available. It became frustrating that the heavy book I was carrying around was such a poor source of answers to my questions.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Robinson on December 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
My preference is the Eyewitness Travel DK - Japan - which has excellent graphics but is just 400 pages long. But now I have to reconsider because of this new guide from Lonely Planet. This book is just a tremendous effort 800 pages long, very well balanced with photos, maps, history, etc. It is clearly a 5 star guide.

I would rate it (and DK Eyewitness Travel) head and shoulders ahead of Frommers, or Rough Guide or similar books that are less well balanced.

Japan is a place one does not visit every day and it is expensive. Also I like to go well armed with maps and books because unlike the USA or Canada some areas have no English signs so the more information the better. It is unnerving to be on trains and subways where there is just Japanese signs. I would recommend this book, and at least one book on Japan's society - see plus a good map book.

This book is well balanced and like the DK guide is that it pulls a lot of things together such as history and culture and urban areas. The book brings it all to life with just magnificent photos and maps.

Personally I would buy more than one guide and definitely a guide on just Tokyo, so I would buy this book or the lighter 400 page DK guide and one book on Tokyo.

Either case this is an excellent buy. 5 stars.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By M. Rung on June 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
I find the other reviews of this book interesting. Maybe it's b/c going to Japan was the first trip out of the country on our own (so we don't have any other LP guides to compare to), but my boyfriend and I found this book invaluable for our trip. A day didn't go by when we didn't pull this book out and look at its maps or information about where we were at in Japan. In fact, one day we left the book in our hotel room--and we regretted every minute of it.

I found this book well-informed and well-organized. The chapter on Kyoto could have been organized better (should match the same city sections as the magical map they give you when you buy a bus pass at the tourist information center) and the maps can be a little tricky to read when you have to keep flipping from one side of the map with the listing of landmarks to the other side to refer to the map. But overall, the book is worth the $$ when planning your trip and as reference during your trip. If it were not for this book we would have never found the Kyoto Handicraft Center or the best yaki-udon in Nikko!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By the silence is deafening on April 19, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
while sifting through the various travel books before my trip to japan, i found lonely planet japan to be the most well written and organized, had the best maps and was the most intuitive.. over let's go (comparable for overall info, but not as good in other parts) and frommer's (which sucked completely).

japan is very confusing to get around. so i was looking for some good maps. i thought lonely planet featured the best ones. clear, not too overcrowded. easy to read.

That is until.... i noticed that one of the very first maps in the itinerary suggestions sections is inaccurate. the island is labeled hokkaido instead of honshu (its a map depicting a trip from tokyo to kyoto and nara, which are not on the island of hokkaido).

just be warned: even with some of the better travel books, make sure you double check things. this major discrepancy definitely took away from the credibility of the book. i know errors happen, but this one was so glaringly obvious, that i was surprised and disappointed to find it in this book, just after i had thought i'd found a winner. now i will feel like i'm just looking for more errors.
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